Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2), when individuals or entities have interests in an ongoing litigation that are not adequately represented by an existing party, they may intervene 10th Circuit Spotlightas of right. But what interests does the rule protect? A divided panel of the Tenth Circuit recently confronted that issue in Barnes v. Security Life of Denver Insurance Co., 945 F.3d 1112 (10th Cir. 2019), in which an indemnitor sought to intervene as of right in litigation between its indemnitee (an insurer) and the indemnitee’s insureds.

The Barnes Litigation

Barnes concerned a group of life insurance policies issued by the predecessor-in-interest of defendant Security Life of Denver Insurance Company (Denver). Significantly, the policies authorized the insurer to set certain administrative costs, using criteria set forth in the policies.